Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids and one lazy dog, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Apptivity Review: Cut The Rope and Hot Wheels

For Christmas we got the boys Apptivity games for the iPad. The Apptivity games are meant to be a more interactive game for kids to play with on the iPad. Each game comes with a plastic figure/toy. The toy is supposed to be made out of a special plastic that will not scratch the surface of the iPad. Our two toys have plastic pads on the bottoms.
Bernardo got the Hot Wheels game and Higgins received the Cut The Rope game. Most of the Apptivity games run about $9.99, but Target often has them on sale for $7.99.  Some games have a multi-character set option, which runs about $20. To use the games, you have to first download the free Apptivity app from the iTunes site. Once it is downloaded, you open the Apptivity app and click to open the scanner. Place the toy (one at a time) on the scanner and select the correct one. It will then download the game to your iPad.

Below are my reviews of each game.

Cut The Rope:
Cut The Rope is all about feeding the candy to the little green character (Om Nom). It is great for the younger kids and is listed for ages 4+.

Positives:
>You can play the game with or without the character.
>It is a fun game and the character is super cute. The levels get harder, so it keeps their interest.

Downsides:
>I read some complaints (after I had already bought it) about the game crashing a lot. So far we haven't had any problems.
>When I downloaded the app, there were two options: the Free and HD versions. When I clicked on HD link, it was $3.99 more so I chose the free version since I had already paid $10 for the game/toy. However, the downloaded game had a lot of ads. Originally there were ads for the HD version of Cut The Rope. After I installed an update for the game, there were even more ads for different games from the same developer. Sometimes the ads ran after each level, which was very frustrating.  It made it seem like I didn't get a full game, when I fully expected to have a full game without a lot of ads for $10.
>I would say around 5 years is a great age for this game. Some of the levels require a little more fine motor skills and quicker dexterity than a 4 year old might have. The older kids might find it a little too young for them.

Hot Wheels:
>This app is listed for ages 4+.

Positives:
>There are several different shapes and colors of cars available for the Hot Wheels Apptivity.
>You can play in finger mode (placing a finger on either side of the car outline on the screen) or with the toy car.
>This game is pretty fun. There are different challenges in the game to keep kids' interest. You can find coins in the game and collect them by driving the car through them. The coins can be used to make updates to your car to help with some of the different challenges.

Downsides:
>Although the age range is 4+, there is a lot of reading on the screen that younger kids may not be able to do. I have no idea how a child who cannot read, or read very well, could play this game on their own.
>Maneuverability of the car is hard to control and to get the hang of, so younger kids might get frustrated. Even I had trouble keeping the larger sized car on the road. The sizing of car versus the iPad was a little off.  Bernardo really wanted to love this game, however he wanted to play it a lot when I wasn't able to sit with him and help read the directions, so he got frustrated. When I asked him what he thought of it he said it was "Cool!" However, when I asked why he didn't play with it very often he said "it was too hard to get the car to do what I want it to and to stay on the road."
>The car also looks like a normal Hot Wheels car, so it could easily get mixed in with other toy cars.
>If you play using the finger mode, it can get a little tricky. You have to have two fingers, one on either side of the car to make the car move. When it is time to use the action button, you need a third finger on the car.
>If you play in finger mode, you have to find a co-pilot monkey to gain access to the hangers. However, the monkey only works once per use. After you use the monkey and enter a hanger, you have to find him again before entering another hanger. You can buy an unlimited co-pilot monkey for an additional $3.99 for the finger mode.
>Additional items for the car also cost coins. You have to have certain additional items (wings, special tires, flotation device) to successfully play certain challenges/destinations. You can find the coins in the game or purchase coins in the store.

CONCLUSION:
I think these games have a lot of potential, but I think there is still room for improvement. I also do not think the age rating of 4+ is appropriate for most of the games, especially games like Hot Wheels that require reading. If you have older kids, these would probably be a hit.

OTHER APPTIVITY GAMES:

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